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Do Jack Russell Terriers Make Good Pets? Pictures
Jack Russell's are unique dogs and lots of fun.
I have had many great cats and a few dogs, but I never had a dog like Brandy, my Jack Russell terrier. My previous dog, twelve years ago, was a Cockapoo -- totally insane. I would say he was a dog version of a paranoid schizophrenic. After him I did not want to take the risk of another maniac dog. I had heard that Jack Russels were a handful, high energy and independent. Those qualities did not appeal to me either. The only thing I liked was they are small and they don't slobber. Web sites warned that these little balls of energy are not for everyone -- RED FLAG. They stress that these little dogs are hunters and not safe with small animals or children under six -- RED FLAG. Also these sites said they love to play, must play, because they are so intelligent, and bred to work. It is when they get bored that they get into trouble or if they don't get enough attention -- RED FLAG. They are very loving dogs and loyal -- SOUNDS GOOD. They are stubborn and do things on their own terms so in training them kindness goes much further than harshness -- SOUNDS ALRIGHT, kind of like a cat.
My husband really wanted a dog and had been pestering me for years, so when his friend said his son had a litter of Jack Russell puppies (long haired) and we could have one for free I knew I was going to loose this battle. I pulled up a few more web sites on these dogs and they didn't sound too bad so I said yes. None of these sites mentioned the fact that these dogs are known to be a little bit crazy, (ask any vet) . They do really bizarre things, mostly because they are so curious and very intelligent and high energy. There should be more warning that the Jack Russell is apt to run in circles at the speed of light for up to five five minutes -- it is a sight to behold, and the first time, scary. You should be warned that they jump, four and a half to five feet -- yes they are very small dogs, about eighteen inches tall. Also you should be warned that they are very persistent and will figure out ways to get you to do what they want. They are totally focused on you and they know more about you than you think -- that goes for all dogs.
It turned out that the little Jack Russell was a wonderful little dog and a great joy. We selected a girl and named her Brandy. Much of her behavior was more like a cat than a dog and I liked that very much as a cat lover. She is very loving and her joyful enthusiasm is really so cute.
One day I took Brandy to the bank with me and when I drove up to the kiosk she started jumping from the front seat to the back seat in anticipation of the doggy treat that the teller always gives her. She was so excited. The teller appeared on the little television and Brady was jumping from the front window to the back window, so fast that the teller asked if there were two dogs. I said no -- just one, but she gave Brandy two treats. The funny thing is she never eats them. She keeps it in her mouth all the way home and then once home she hides it and every once in a while she will get it out and carry it around. I don't get it. When the banker gave Brandy two bones on the way home she figured out how to pick them both up at the same time. At home she places one bone on top of the other making an x and then she puts her mouth over them picking them both up at the same time and placing them somewhere else in the house.
When Brandy was coming up for a year old and house broken she went on a rock collection binge. When taken outside she would do her business and then look for the perfect rock. If I rushed her she would grab whatever rock was available -- the problem with this weird habit is that she chewed the rocks. With some effort she learned not to chew them and as a result lost interest in collecting them.
Do not, I repeat, do not get a Jack Russell if you are not willing to play with them. They are very intelligent and get bored very easy. What ever game you play they will change and develop it over time. If I ignore Brandy she will get into the laundry basket and get something, underwear or socks. She knows she is not allowed to have these items and she knows I will chase her to get them back. She comes over to me close enough for me to see and when I get up she runs -- game's on. Of course I can't catch her so I get the broom -- her mortal enemy. It fell on her when she was a puppy and she has been afraid of it from that day till now. When she sees the broom she runs in a few fast circles and then drops the item. She is so funny I can't get mad.
When I say she is like a cat it is because she is so curious, she pounces, and climbs. She does what she wants when she wants. Like cats she is very loving when she wants to be. Also she loves to get into the middle of whatever you are doing and climb as high as she can.
Sometimes she just likes to be chased. I stomp around like an idiot and say "I'm going to get you" and she runs like a maniac around the living room, dining room and kitchen and then dives down the stairs to the family room for a little variety. One night she ran so fast I could not believe it, running and running faster and faster and when she stopped she was dragging her hind legs hardly able to walk. I told my husband it was probably from the frantic running, but he had to take her to the emergency doggy hospital. Two hundred dollars later we learned that there was nothing wrong with her -- although she had a condition that many small dogs have of knees that can slid out of joint it was not a problem at this time.
Her games are very creative and in tug-of war she is careful not to bit, she really likes for you to be totally involved with her games. Most of all she is just so loving and tries really hard to please. I don't train her with treats, she just wants to do what I say to please -- that is the best way to train a Jack Russell, of course treats are much appreciated.
One thing that really amazes me is she knows the difference between her medicine bottles and my husband's. She pays no attention when I get my husband's pills ready but when I pick up her medicine bottle she comes over and sits down beside me and waits for her pill -- she knows she gets ice afterward. Her bottles are blue but dogs are color blind -- maybe because ice is so important to her she keeps a close eye on her bottles. Playing with ice is her favorite thing. Can it be they read us so well, is my behavior so telling?
Gotta have ice -- give me ice -- Now!
Let's play ice
Brandy loves to play ice. No one can get ice from the freezer without Brandy trying to get some. She will jump until you give her a piece. Below is a video showing her determination. One thing all Jack Russell owners will tell you is that they can jump -- and they love to jump, and they can jump really high for their size. Once she gets the ice she chases it and then brings it to me to throw it. She likes ice more than anything. After I throw it a few times she runs downstairs to the family room and knocks it under the couch and I have to knock it out -- she dives after it and knocks it under again and again. I don't like this part of the game but she enjoys it so much I do it and it is pretty funny. I guess it is like hunting for her to wait for the prey to run out from under something. She is very fast and the prey would not escape this little hunter. The video below shows her enthusiasm.
I Just Want to Play!!!
The video below is a good example of her curiosity, pouncing and speed. The cat had scratched her nose the day before so she is a little scared.